Decided on February 20,2008

Funds Organisation Respondents


- (1.) THROUGH the medium of this appeal order dated 22.12.1993 passed by the learned Divisional Forum (hereinafter to be referred to as the Forum) has been challenged. The complainant filed the complaint with the allegations that he holds telephone connection No. 44502 in his office and had been paying the telephone bills but for the period commencing from 26.8.1992 to 25.10.1992. He received telephone bill amounting to Rs. 7,191 which was inflated. It does not appear from the impugned order that complainant had taken any step to make the complaint with the appellant for the excessive billing of this bill, but straightaway had filed the complaint in the Forum and in support of the evidence the respondent herein had filed a statement of the previous telephone bills as well as a copy of the judgment dated 27.6.1991 passed by it. The complainant stated that the average bill of his office was Rs. 1,800 and with regard to earlier inf latedbills he filed a complaint the amount whereof was reduced, but the present bill in the sum of Rs. 7,191 was again sent. His statement was supported by his witness namely, Anil Sharma. The learned Forum perused a copy of the judgment given by it on 27.6.1991 in which the Forum has held that disputed inflated bills in the sum of Rs. 6,142, Rs. 13,388 and Rs. 7,735 were reduced by the Forum to Rs. 3,074 each. The evidence of the appellant herein given by Mr. Satish Chander Bakhri, Jr. Telecom Officer was discredited on the plea that he had admitted that a subscriber had no control over the metering and had no knowledge whether the complaint was lodged by the respondent herein with regard to the bill in question or not. The Forum has also found that appellant's witness Shamsher Singh had admitted the fact that in the judgment given by the Forum on 27.6.1991 the bills were reduced in the sum of Rs. 3,074. The learned Forum on this evidence f educed the amount of this bill in question up to Rs. 3,500. The record of the Forum is not available and it will be a futile exercise to call it as the case is more than 13 years old. However, from the record of the appeal it has appeared that on the statement which has been filed along with a copy of the order dated 29.5.92 at Sr. No. 41 there is a mention of a case titled 'Dy. Director, J&KFunds Organisation, Jammu which was decided on 27.6.1991 by the Forum and had been filed in the Commission on 5.12.1991. In terms of the order dated 29.5.1992 passed by this Commission the appeal was also not entertained because it was time barred. The learned Counsel appearing for the appellant has placed on record photocopies of the complaint filed before the learned Forum and photocopy of the statement showing the period and amount of telephone connection 44502. It has transpired that in reply to the allegations made in para No. 2 of the complaint in the written version it is clearly stated that bill dated 1/90 was for Rs. 4,679, bill dated 3/90 was for Rs. 4,711, bill dated 11/90 was for Rs. 6,241 and bill dated 2/91 was for Rs. 7,835 This version has been supported by the statement which was produced by the complainant himself as his seal and signatures also appeared on the statement. It is found from this statement that a bill in the amount of Rs. 4,711 was paid which was on the higher side than what has been assessed by the learned Forum. No mention of the plea taken in para No. 2 of the written version has been made in the impugned order as to how those figures were disbelieved. The judgment referred by the Commission dated 27.6.1991 was dismissed by the Commission not on merits but on technical grounds of limitation. The method adopted by the learned Forum for making an assessment in the amount of Rs. 3,500 is thus found without any base and not acceptable. In this view of the matter, we accept the appeal and direct the respondent to pay the amount of the bill in question within six weeks from today. A copy of this order be sent to the DF for placing on the record of the DF. The appeal be consigned to the records.;

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